Skip to content

Did Burke’s loyalty to the league cost him his job?

Jan 14, 2013, 11:52 AM EDT

Brian Burke Getty Images

Since Brian Burke was fired as Maple Leafs general manager last week, the big question hasn’t been why (there were plenty of reasons there), but why now?

In his post-firing press conference, Burke said he wasn’t provided a “satisfactory explanation” for the timing of the move; however, the CBC’s Elliotte Friedman managed to dig up one possibility through a source.

It sounds like the Toronto Maple Leafs new ownership disagreed with Burke’s CBA philosophies — the unwillingness to use bonuses, back-diving contracts and offer sheets among other things. It’s about using your resources to the fullest extent. In the new deal, there are further limitations, but still advantages to being a financial powerhouse (bonuses, for example, were not touched). If this is true, we’re going to see a change in the way Toronto does business.

One major criticism Burke faced in Toronto was that he was more interested in the success of the NHL than his own team.

As Leafs fan Sean McIndoe, aka @DownGoesBrown, put it to PHT: “Whether it’s some sense of duty to the league, or some sort of personal moral code, or just plain old self-promotion, Burke has a tendency to give the impression that he has quite a few priorities beyond doing whatever it takes to win.”

Burke is one of Gary Bettman’s biggest fans, and not afraid to say it. Perhaps the Leafs’ new ownership group, which wasn’t exactly enamored with Burke to begin with, didn’t appreciate his support for a commissioner who just fought for a CBA that restricts the ability of rich franchises to throw their wallets around.

Latest Posts
  1. Modano: Stars need more from Benn, Lehtonen and Seguin

    Apr 19, 2014, 1:29 AM EDT

    Jamie Benn, Mike Modano AP

    Ryan Getzlaf, Frederik Andersen and Corey Perry “are winning that battle,” he said.

  2. Alfredsson praises ‘outstanding’ Howard after shutting out B’s

    Apr 18, 2014, 11:59 PM EDT

    Howard AP

    “It was one individual effort that made the difference today.”

  3. Video: Lucic spears DeKeyser from behind

    Apr 18, 2014, 10:27 PM EDT

    Lucic spear

    There was no penalty on the play.

  4. Detroit stuns favored Bruins with late goal to take Game 1

    Apr 18, 2014, 10:08 PM EDT

    Jimmy Howard, Niklas Kronwall, Patrice Bergeron AP

    Jimmy Howard had a shutout in the goaltending duel.

  5. Playoff viewership way up through first two days

    Apr 18, 2014, 9:09 PM EDT

    nbcsn_acronym_logo_horizontal_finalsmall

    Naturally, the Blackhawks-Blues triple-overtime game was very popular.

  6. Video: Bruins establish physical game early

    Apr 18, 2014, 8:51 PM EDT

    Pavel Datsyuk, Patrice Bergeron Pavel Datsyuk, Patrice Bergeron

    Detroit was near the bottom of the pack in hits in the regular season.

  7. Video: Canadiens end long power-play drought

    Apr 18, 2014, 8:34 PM EDT

    Montreal goal

    They took a 1-0 lead over Tampa Bay in the process.

  8. Chicago looks past triple-overtime loss

    Apr 18, 2014, 8:23 PM EDT

    Chicago Blackhawks v St. Louis Blues - Game One Getty Images

    “We expected a tough series against (St. Louis).”

  9. Yeo argues Wild need to be more physical with rookie MacKinnon

    Apr 18, 2014, 7:43 PM EDT

    Nathan MacKinnon AP

    The rookie had three assists last night.

  10. WATCH LIVE: Detroit Red Wings at Boston Bruins (Game 1)

    Apr 18, 2014, 7:04 PM EDT

    Gustav Nyquist, Tuukka Rask AP

    The last of the first round series is about to begin.

  11. Quenneville gets $25,000 fine for ‘bush-league move’

    Apr 18, 2014, 6:17 PM EDT

    Joel Quenneville AP

    This isn’t the first time he’s been fined.

  12. Poile: Nashville’s defense will be best we’ve ever had

    Apr 18, 2014, 5:59 PM EDT

    sethjonesgetty Getty Images

    That’s a pretty bold statement, given that Nashville used to have blueliners like Kimmo Timonen and Ryan Suter.

  13. Report: AHL could have new division in western U.S.

    Apr 18, 2014, 5:06 PM EDT

    AHLlogo

    Apparently, the “Coyotes, Ducks, Kings, and Sharks are on board” with relocating their minor-league affiliates closer to home.

Featured video

Detroit must exploit Boston's young D
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. T. Oshie (4062)
  2. E. Malkin (3969)
  3. M. Duchene (3654)
  4. B. Bishop (3130)
  5. H. Zetterberg (2837)
  1. O. Palat (2656)
  2. V. Tarasenko (2615)
  3. D. Backes (2521)
  4. P. Bergeron (2433)
  5. R. Getzlaf (2302)